Super Bowl Commercials 2024: A Night of Million-Dollar Moments

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An Expensive Showdown

As the final whistle blew on last night’s Super Bowl, aired on CBS, it wasn’t just the clash of Kansas City and San Francisco keeping us on the edge of our seats until overtime. The Super Bowl commercials, often dubbed the Super Bowl of advertising, were a spectacle in their own right. With some brands shelling out upwards of $7 million for a mere 30 seconds of airtime, the stakes were astronomically high. I can even imagine how much Temu spent on Super Bowl commercials. Amid this glitzy showdown of marketing muscle, a few memorable Super Bowl ads stood out, not just for their creativity and impact but for the sheer audacity of their storytelling and execution. What were the best commercials of Super Bowl 2024? Here are my top picks from a night that was as much about advertising triumphs as it was about football feats.

Dunkin’ – Star-Studded Coffee Run

Dunkin’s commercial was a comedic delight, featuring Ben Affleck in a misguided attempt to impress Jennifer Lopez by crashing her recording session with a band that includes DJ Tom Brady and a hesitant Matt Damon. The dynamics between the celebrities were hilariously on point, with Affleck’s overconfidence clashing with JLo’s unimpressed demeanor, while Damon’s apologetic glance and Brady’s welcomed presence added layers of humor. The interplay between real-life friendships and celebrity personas made this ad not just entertaining but relatable, highlighting the playful side of stardom.

BMW – Walken the Walk

BMW’s ad with Christopher Walken was a brilliant execution of star power and brand messaging. Walken, driving a new BMW, encounters fans attempting his signature style, only to prove that true originality is inimitable. The cameo by Usher, tying in with his Super Bowl halftime performance, was a clever touch. This commercial resonated with me for its clever use of a cultural icon to underline the originality of BMW, much like Walken himself, showcasing the brand’s uniqueness in a crowded market.

State Farm – The Spy Who Insured Me

State Farm’s ad brought humor to the forefront with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s struggle to pronounce “neighbor” in his Austrian accent, turning it into a comical “Neighbaaaa.” The inclusion of agitated sheep and a frustrated director, followed by Danny DeVito’s timely intervention (tipping the hat to the classic comedy ‘Twins’), added a layer of comedy that was both unexpected and delightful. I appreciated the self-aware humor and the light-hearted jab at Hollywood’s accent stereotypes, making it a refreshing departure from typical insurance commercials with Jake and football stars.

Squarespace – Alien Invasion

Squarespace’s high-concept ad, directed by Martin Scorsese, featured aliens learning the importance of an online presence. The cinematic quality, thanks to Rodrigo Prieto’s involvement, and the narrative’s slow reveal of the aliens building a website before their invasion struck a chord with me as both a marketer and a filmmaker. The ad cleverly highlighted the indispensable nature of the internet in modern society, wrapped in an engaging story that left a lasting impression.

Pringles – Pratt’s Mustachioed Antics

The Pringles commercial, featuring Chris Pratt as the Pringles guy, was a delightful blend of humor and brand recognition. Pratt’s transformation and the ad’s playful approach to viral fame were both engaging and memorable. I loved how the ad leveraged humor and iconic brand imagery to create a light-hearted and enjoyable viewing experience, setting a positive tone for the evening’s advertisements.

CeraVe – The Dreamy Designer

CeraVe took a risk with a commercial that featured Michael Cera as the fictitious mastermind behind the skincare brand, in a parody of self-indulgent designer-brand ads. The ad’s humor, especially the board’s rejection of the concept at the end, was a clever twist, though it left some viewers pondering if it was as effective as intended.

Honorable Mention: He Gets Us – Foot Washing

The “He Gets Us” commercial deserves an honorable mention for its bold and striking approach to conveying a message of humility and unity through the act of foot washing. The powerful imagery and the biblical reference made for a thought-provoking piece that stood out for its courage to tackle a message of unity in a divisive context.

Final Thoughts

In a night where creativity and budgetary muscle went hand in hand, these commercials stood out not just for their entertainment value but for their ability to leave a lasting impression on the audience. From star-studded sketches to cinematic masterpieces, this year’s Super Bowl commercials were a testament to the enduring power of creative advertising.

Which commercials were your favorites? Which were the worst Super Bowl commercials this year?

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